Monday, December 13, 2010

The Holy Father...

...talking to Peter Seewald in the new book mentions in particular one of the New Movements in the Church : the Heralds of the Gospel. I was struck by this - because they have a London base not far from where I live, and I have had some contact with them, and they are splendid! In fact, just as I was settling down to read the book, they had been on my mind as I want to invite them to take part in one of the projects I am planning for the New Year. So it was particular delight to get their latest magazine - which came with a covering letter noting with joy the special mention given to them by the Pope in the new book!

BTW, Lefevbrists will not want to read the book, as it reveals the quiet wisdom of the Pope on significant issues where they will be at variance with him and with the Church. They will also not like an authoritative document now published: Verbum Domini, the Pope's new post-Synodical Exhortation on the Word of God. It quotes Vatican II extensively, highlights strongly the importance of the Church's friendship and dialogue with the Jews, emphasises the rich abundance of Scripture now offered to the faithful at Sunday Mass and gives good advice on how this is to be honoured in the liturgy, speaks well of ecumenical initiatives, and highlights modern saints (Teresa of Calcutta, Edith Stein, Josemaria Escriva) alongside older ones. Watch out for attempts to rubbish this document or belittle its authority. Meanwhile, get a copy and read it yourself - it's inspirational, and full of practical advice ( praying with the Scriptures, how to improve the standard of reading at Mass, importance of each family having a Bible, need to see the Scriptures as belonging to the Church, avoidence of fundamentalist interpretations.)

To anyone who is doing any sort of study of the Scriptures, this Exhortation speaks with a powerful personal message. It is somehow all shot through with prayer, and makes you realise how central, and how glorious, is the Bible that has been so faithfully handed down to us.

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